This sweet and simple offering is ideal for sharing one-on-one or for featuring with a small audience in a program...

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EMMA

From the Simply Small series

This volume in the Simply Small board-book series introduces Emma, a little hedgehog with a heart of gold.

Emma and her three sisters exhaust themselves trudging along after Daddy up a steep hill. Inspired by the sweet scent in the air, Emma picks flowers and hands one to each of her three wilting sisters. They each give her a kiss in return, as does her proud father, and that makes: “Three flowers, / four kisses, and / five hedgehogs / —happy at home.” This final spread shows the five critters resting all cuddled together in a contented clump, with Emma’s sisters still holding onto their precious flowers. The simple, uncluttered illustrations complement the sparse but apt text. The only things pictured are the hedgehogs, the hill and the flowers, all of which are drawn with very thick, bold outlines. The sky is rendered a soft pink, the hill a light green and the hedgehogs shades of tan, with the blue, white and yellow flowers adding a bit of variety to the palette.

This sweet and simple offering is ideal for sharing one-on-one or for featuring with a small audience in a program celebrating family or, even better, small acts of kindness and love. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-897476-93-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Simply Read

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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